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CoffeeCoder

Any good resources on creating isometric tilesets?

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Hi everyone, 

I was wondering if anybody might know of some good resources on making isometric tilesets? I have an idea for an isometric game, but I can't really find anything on creating isometric tiles without using a 3D program like Blender. Granted, I might go that route anyway for the pre-rendered look, but I really want to try creating them by hand first!

If anyone knows of some good tutorials or articles on the subject, I'd be very happy to see them. Google just isn't doing much for me right now, so I'm hoping someone here can help me out! smile.png

Thanks, all!

EDIT: I did some more intense Googling, and found some decent stuff. http://www.angelfire.com/rpg2/vertexnormal/tutorials/tile_tutorial.html looks good, as well as this ridiculously easy one in GIMP! http://www.stankirdey.com/content/how-make-isometric-tile-using-gimp-28-moment

Edited by YodamanJer
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All depends on the look you want, hand painting looks different from photo tiles which looks different from rendering say displacement maps.     

It also depends on how "quasi-3d" you want your isometric, is it all flat floor tiles, or does it have high levels and even rastered shadows?

 

Isometric these days could even come with some global illumination calculation!

 

I dont know if im helping or not :)  Just describe what kind of effect are you after?

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Hi! I was after a design similar to city-simulation games of the 1990s, like so:

Pharaoh-Enhancement-Pack_1.jpg

So it would definitely be "quasi-3D", or pseudo-3D, that I'm looking for. :)

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You could just make regular tiles and rotate the scene for the whole scene perspective that you want.  This would make generating artwork much easier and would make modifying existing tiles much easier.

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You could just make regular tiles and rotate the scene for the whole scene perspective that you want.  This would make generating artwork much easier and would make modifying existing tiles much easier.

 

You'll have to keep in mind that they are going to be rotated, otherwise some of your tiles will look flat:

 

i3f.png

Nice flowers sticking out of the grass.

 

cuf.png

Oops, now they look flat and painted on.

 

"Up" is no longer the top of the user's monitor, and the shading is wrong. I think I'd rather A) make the game 3D with just an isometric camera angle or B) draw the tiles already in a diamond shape instead of trying to do my shadows sideways.

You could also not have any tiles that stick up off the ground, and instead draw every "sticking up" image as oriented normally. But you'd then have to draw even normal level geometry like pillars and trees as freely-placed sprites - which isn't bad, but something to be aware of.

 

Not to mention taking a 2D tile and rotating it, the pixels will not be as crisp because the texture's pixels will fall between the monitor's pixels, and it'll have to calculate and guess at the right colors, mixing and slightly blurring them (as also noticed in the second image).

 

Converting from one rotation to a rotation that isn't exactly 90 degrees (isometric is nearer to 45 degrees) results in a less-than-perfect appearance, in my opinion.

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Not to mention taking a 2D tile and rotating it, the pixels will not be as crisp because the texture's pixels will fall between the monitor's pixels, and it'll have to calculate and guess at the right colors, mixing and slightly blurring them (as also noticed in the second image).

 

It's very obvious now that you pointed this out, thanks.  I'll be more careful with theory vs. what I have experience with.

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No prob, and it wasn't a bad idea, it just (like any idea) has side-effects to take into consideration.

Speculation on solutions is very valuable - it's how innovation occurs.

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